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Old 01-17-2011, 12:47 PM
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Hi everyone,

Long story short, I have been common-law for 13 years and have 2 children, 11 and 7. After a few years in the relashionship I started noticing things that I had problems with but for the sake of the children I went along for years. Now it all broke apart during the holiday season...

Our children are fine for now, there were no abuse of any kind in the relashionship, no drug or alchool problems, nothing of that nature anyway.

My problem is the following, I am military and we lived in Victoria for about 3 1/2 years. Last summer I was transfered to Ottawa. For some reason my ex decided she did not want to follow me at that time and she gave me some reasons that seemed legitimate at the time. I got my employer to agree to transfer me while my ex stayed back until the end of the school year. Now the reasons for doing this no longer apply therefore the military is requesting me to initiate my final move.

Now of course she does not want to live with me so we have to figure this out. I secured a place in Ottawa and told her that I would take care of the kids while she gets her feet back on the ground, get a job and a place to stay. She did not agree with this and said she wanted to take the kids and live closer to her family in Quebec. So I started to do all the paperwork for the move and then she came back and decided to stay in Victoria and only move next summer.

Problem is that there is no way she will be able to afford to stay there without a job and I can't financially support that option too. Plus how am I going to get access to my kids? Seems that all the decisions she is making are going against all better judgement. 2 days ago I called home and my 11 year old daughter was alone at home while she was shopping. No one new she was alone, what if her mom got into a car accident...? She also as a tendency to spend hours on the computer or the phone kids are left to themself during that time. I mean when I was home I did cooking, dishes, laundry and house cleaning on top of my daily work while she was on facebook.

Now she won't give me her plan of action she just tells me whenever I ask that she will figure it out but for me it's not sufficient. She as no plans unless she does and I don't know about it... But I secured a place where the kids have their own rooms, close to a school alot closer to a family support (Grand-parents, oncles, aunts...)

So what do you think, do I have a chance do get full custody until she gets her live straytend out or will I have to pay and watch my kids suffer.

Thanks for any comments!
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:03 PM
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Custody is decision making and hence the reason joint custody is favored in most cases. That said, I am not sure how distance factors into all that. If you are going to be living in Ontario, while she is in BC, that is a far distance and expensive for regular travel. Before putting in an application, you will need to work out how the kids will get back and forth to see her and then.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:01 PM
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So, let me see if I'm getting this straight? You're in Ottawa, and your ex and kids are in Victoria? I'm not exactly sure what you should specifically do, except that I know you need to do it fast. The longer this current living situation continues, the harder it will be to get any sort of living arrangements with your children. I suspect she knows this, which is why she is acting so "indecisive" and making you wait. Her plan is to develop a status quo that a court will be unwilling to change as it would introduce upheaval into the children's lives.

I would suggest first of all that you begin paying child support, as that will reflect very well on you (and avoid nasty arrears later). I assume you have already separated your finances, and stopped paying her bills? If not, do so. You also need to do your best to convince her to let the children live with you in Ottawa over March break, and summer vacation. After that, I guess it's all just a matter of proving to a court that you are the more stable environment for the children to live with, even if it means moving them away from their friends and school, and potentially their mother. You are starting from a big disadvantage, unfortunately. Either by coincidence or by design, your ex has you where she wants you; away from the children.

So, yeah, in conclusion, don't delay. See a lawyer, and start negotiations with your ex designed around the children living in Ottawa, as was originally planned before the split.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:58 AM
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Thanks for the reply,

Last night we where able to talk more and got to some arrangements. I am not paying Child support per say but I am covering all the expenses of living, except food. She agreed to considered this as Child support until we can resolve the situation in a more suitable (legal) way. She also agreed to help out, so if I am tight for a month, we should be able to work things out. I looked at it from different ways and did not find one legal way to make this work out without lots of hardship for the kids and huge expenses. I know things can turn for the worst at a blink of an eye but I'll have to rely on faith for this one. I figure that there is always a way to make more money but if you screw up your kids childhood that can't be fixed easily, I know, my parents got separated when I was 5 years old.

Being military, a sailor just to make it worst, it will be hard for me to get full custody. On top of that she is not a bad mother at all. She as issues she needs to work on I think but this could probably be resolve if I mention it to her in a civil way. I will wait a bit for that tho, lets call this a controlled burn...lol.

On top of this, it is probably better for the kids to stay with their mom, as much as it cruches my heart to admit that. The kids are allready used to me not being there for months so it's normal for them now.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:56 PM
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There has been a material change in circumstance (ie you here and her deciding not to follow). Since it is an employment relocation, you have decent odds...however, and it is a big one, the kids are 7/11, and that is a tough age to change the "status quo", especially if you have been here, and she has been there. (NOTE: I did not say don't fight it!)

If her extended family is in Quebec, that can be used in your filing, as you will be able to foster those relationships better from Ottawa than from Vancouver. I would file for Sole Custody here, or Joint Custody on the condition she move to Ottawa or within 100 km of the NCR.

Alternatively, if she plans to stay there, apply for an offset of SS and CS based on the "unusually high cost of access, brought on by her decision to stay in Vancouver with the children". More often than not, the courts will order parents to share the cost of access 50/50 if reasonable. Her decision NOT to move may allow you to apply to have 100% of flight and BC accomodations offset from your SS and CS. When a parent hears that, they are more inclined to rethink the relocation

Good luck, and if you have any questions, I have "been there, done that" on this one
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:58 PM
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Also, reading your last comment....MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THIS IN WRITING, as the court will not care what gentleman`s agreement was made if push comes to shove.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:58 AM
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Thanks for the reply,

Things have been improving in the past few days. Dialog as restarted an we both agree on all points so far. Most importantly the kids are happy with the situation as it unfolds right now. They are excited to stay in BC for the remainder of the school year but they expect to move in Ottawa next summer but their mom as not signed off on it yet.

In two weeks I am going back to get my part of the furniture and other things. We want to put something in writing about our agreement. Those anyone know how I should proceed to make sure if this ever goes south that I would be able to demonstrate that everything I did was for the well being of the kids and according to her wishes and that I did not abandon my kids?

Thanks again for the support. It's nice to get advice from other people going through this awfull thing called separation.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:21 PM
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Things went south again,

Quick run down...being military I have access to Private Military Quarters. So that is where we were staying in Victoria. My plan was to keep her at that location until end of school year. Based on that she was happy and willing to settle this without taking me to the cleaners.

Now because of military rules, she can't stay at that location if I am not there. Now she is upset because she as to move and intend to take everything she can get. I am hosnestly trying to be fair with her but she is not whilling to play nice as soon as there is something she as to compromise about.

So now the military as given me a moving date and things are moving fast. She keeps arguing that living 5 000 km away from me is what she and the kids need to get back on their feet. Does not make much sence to me.

So can a judge prevent her from doing what she wants if I don't agree with her plan. How fast can this be done? Can I mentionned to her that they may adjust CS and SS because she decides to stay back even if I am willing to pay for her relocation?

Any advice would be appreciated....
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:11 PM
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CS and SS can be adjusted to address the issue with access. She will be required to work to support herself and the child, she will not be allowed to stay home. I would push to have the kids with you.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:57 PM
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Ok,

I just spoke with her mom and all her family does not understand why she is doing what she is doing and no one supports her. She cut off all contacts with them, basicly she is isolating herself.

How do I protected the kids?
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